The 2nd annual San Diego Brew & Food Festival returns to America’s Finest City in June, and the much beloved Bear Republic Brewing Company is coming with it. Much in the spirit of our firmly established San Diego Beer Week, the Brew & Food Festival draws mainly from cherished local institutions: Stone, Karl Strauss, Ballast Point, etc. Seeking to make its own way in the festival, fare and craft brew world, Brew & Food Fest has elected to also include some exceptional out-of-town players. With Bear Republic featured notably on the guest list, it’s clear everyone involved here knows what they’re doing.
In true beer festival tradition, the list of specific sample varieties remains an ineffable secret. Those familiar with Bear Republic Brewing Co. are as eager to see, and taste, their offerings as they can be confident they will be incredible. One-off casks are the order of the day when it comes to seizing the attention of a festival crowd. Being from out of town presents an opportunity in this regard, however, as most anything Bear Republic pours will be a welcome novelty to the San Diego audience. As AleSmith and Green Flash jockey to out stout one another, Bear Republic can choose from an extensive lineup of draft specialties with which the local market is, unfortunately, not saturated.
For our money, we could quite delightedly stand at the Bear Republic booth sampling Racer 5 IPA all afternoon. Though exceptional, it is highly doubtful the creative minds behind such brilliant brews would be content with presenting one of their year-round ales at an annual beer festival.
MerBear Rye IPA then, might be a likely candidate. A collaborative effort with San Diego’s own Coronado Brewing Company, this American IPA is an aromatic explosion of sweet malted spiciness. If Bear Republic brings MerBear we will again hang out until it’s gone or until word gets out and the line becomes prohibitive. An added blessing, Coronado Brewing will also be in attendance, and there’s a chance they will bring some MerBear of their own.
Personally, we’ve got our fingers crossed for an appearance by Bear Republic’s recent release: Pace Car Racer. Fresh on the market, the brand new Session IPA is making it’s way into national distribution. Already widely regarded within the reviewer community as the best brew this side of Racer 5, we will be as delighted to finally try it as we will be hard pressed to settle for mere 2oz samples.
Always drink responsibly. Try not to hold up the line.